4 Ways The Open Compute Project Will Impact Hardware Design

Serdar Yegulalp | InfoWorld | January 30, 2014

Facebook's Open Compute Project could have broad influences, beneficial and baneful, on data center hardware

Much of the discussion about the Open Compute Project has centered on its impact on Facebook -- that is, how much money and energy it saved -- or on the contributions of the directly participating companies (such as Microsoft).

But as more hardware makers start offering OCP-inspired designs, it's worth reflecting on how that might influence what and how manufacturers produce hardware for the data center. Here are four possible ways the OCP might influence what they do.

OCP effect No. 1: Faster iteration between designs
Product cycles originate with the creator, not the consumer. For the data center, this means change is locked all the more closely to the whims of the hardware makers, rather than the folks who assemble and use the data center.

With OCP designs, though, the iteration process isn't locked to any one manufacturer. If a brilliant new idea appears in data center design, it theoretically becomes easier to put it into play and see how it holds up under real-world loads -- not just because of OCP hardware, but also due to OCP design-sharing methodologies.